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Would you please take a look at the following sentences?

  1. Do you know what time the class starts? / Do you know what time the bus leaves?
  2. Do you know what time the class starts at? / Do you know what time the bus leaves at?
  3. Do you know at what time the class starts? / Do you know at what time the bus leaves?

Question 1. Which one is most formal?
Question 2. Which one is most common?

Thanks in advance.

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I would not use that sentence structure, regardless of grammar.

I would use:

Do you know the time when the class starts?

or:

Do you know the time when the bus leaves?


Even better:

When does the class start?

or:

When does the bus leave?

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1 is the most common, 3 is the most formal – in fact, it would probably strike many native speakers as comically formal. 2 would be considered wrong by most educated native speakers of standard American English (because it ends in a preposition), but is common in some American English dialects; even some people who know it's "wrong" might use it sometimes in informal settings.

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  1. Do you know what time class starts?

In grammar books, this construction is called an indirect question. The inversion between auxiliary and subject is only in the first clause Do you (know), ...?
The embedded direct question is: What time does class start?

It's also possible to add the preposition "at" but it feels redundant to my ears

  1. Do you know what time class starts at?
  2. Do you know at what time class starts?

The definite article can be omitted, I don't know why, but it looks and reads more natural. To clarify further, the definite article (the class) in the OP's examples is not wrong and in speech it would barely be stressed but in writing, it looks too busy for my taste. As to correctness and formality? All three are correct and all three strike me as being neither formal nor informal. A slightly more informal way of asking would be:

  1. What time does class begin/start?
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I'd say neither of them are common. You should rather consider using

Do you know what time does the class start?/ Do you know what time does the bus leave?

or

Do you know at what time does the class start?/ Do you know at what time does the bus leave?

These would be the most formal and common options. The ones from your list are not only uncommon, but also grammatically incorrect.

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  • 2
    While not grammatically incorrect, your suggestions sound very unnatural to me, and I suspect to other American English native speakers. I would use any of the OP's suggestions before these, whether speaking or writing.
    – choster
    Apr 27 '16 at 19:16

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